Mercer Colony

We’re off. What a crazy few weeks.

I got my day job. Outdoor sports store, retail, ten bucks an hour. It’s work.

After NAMT, we had a period of time where we had to process a lot of information from a lot of theatres. I forget how many, a bunch. From all over. California, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, Oregon. It was nuts.

Everybody saw something different in the piece, some saw it close to production, some wanted a reading, some wanted a full script, everybody wanted the soundtrack.

So we sent it out, script we had in the condition it was in. It was a unanimous decision that the script needs work. From the responses we got, Goodspeed Musicals offered us a chance to work on it. Goodspeed is one of the oldest and most respected musical theatre houses in the country. They just started a new program, I suppose you could call it, called the Johnny Mercer Songwriting Colony. We were invited, and went for it.

Our goal as a team was to circle the wagons and see what new directions we could take the show, and what other options could be opened up through that based on response we got from musical theatre folks from NAMT etc…. We weren’t alone, however. We had our own little house in the colony, but there were six or seven others, full of other musical teams. Everybody was there doing there own thing, and sharing ideas and processes. Pretty cool. I got to meet a ton of new people I can consider friends, and thought to myself frequently, this might be the future of the industry here. Cool thing to be apart of, new work.

It’s pretty unreal that Goodspeed has found a way to make all this happen. It’s beautiful here. Spent Valentines Day watching ice chucks float down river while eating with Ken and Beth. Triple date, it was nice.
Sean showed up later.  We had a lot of discussion about making sure Jennie has the reins as opposed to Irene. Irene’s music is strong, but the story is not. My sister put it best. I ask her opinion when she sees readings, and she put it like this: The music is pretty, but after awhile Im like, ‘God, can we kill this lady off already?’
So we’re trying.
There’s a new duet I cranked out, ‘Someone’, about the miscommunications between Wallace and Irene. We’re trying to show a deterioration as opposed to a good thing that is shattered. We’re also trying to provide a separation between town and circus that is more tangible. New one called ‘Kind of Evil’ is trying to do that. I’ve tried to incorporate some hip-hop ish things with this one. Not blatantly, but in the verse. Or, recitative, if we want to get collegiate about it. Hip hop has a naturally conversational vibe, and I enjoy that in musical theatre. It makes the audience forget the fact that I’m throwing information at them. It eases it, makes them feel more apart of each scene, simply put. I like it a lot, just another ensemble banger.
I heard the pachyderm had worms, and last week he went insane
Tossed a grown man ten foot up in the air and the sideshow kept his brain
Then they turned him into a skeleton, and used him in a puppet show
Some folks say that’s entertainment, so they pay the money and go
But that’s the kind of evil my children don’t need to know
That don’t sound like my hometown
Keep them freaks away from my home
It’s been nice to have my own room this week. I literally moved my crap into my and Nicks newly leased apartment, slept on the couch, and got up to come here four hours later. We’re in a middle ground in Brooklyn, between Buschwick and Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood. We’re about forty minutes from Midtown. Give or take. I have no bed. But the couch is fine for now, all things in time. Hopefully is doesn’t smell like paint when I get back. It reeked, and there were Dora the Explorer decals in my room from the last tenants. But now, Im here, getting paid to work on Circus. New friends and a strong creative team. Not to mention a relationship with a theatre we really like. I’m all good.
We spent a lot of time making storyboards, drawing out plot lines physically. Bridge GS Beth, Sean, and Ken Goodspeed